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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Bruce Van Patter

As a freelance illustrator, graphic recorder, and author, Bruce is on a lifelong journey to delight in the handiwork of the Creator. And he’s always ready for fellow travelers.

Empty vessels

January 30, 2018

For today’s exercise in random association, I will attempt to connect logo design, classic black gospel music and a box full of jewels. Ready?


January 28, 2018

Using the overhang at the entrance of the hotel to shield us from the rain, my grandson and I are watching the skies intently. We strain to see movement or hear distant honking.


January 27, 2018

As I stand in the middle of a wide field, the morning sun glints off the frosted blades of grass as if the turf is strewn with diamonds. Is this what I am to notice today?

Willing to let go

January 26, 2018

When I take this shot, I don’t notice the diner light perfectly placed over the head of my friend Tim, hovering like a UFO. Or a glowing megaphone from heaven. Only later will I see it in the photo.

Disappearing act

January 24, 2018

I like fog, when I’m not driving in it. For someone who seeks new angles on the familiar world, fog is like a Magical Mystery Tour. Looking outside, I see the ghosted landscape, grab my camera and jump in the car.

Exits and entrances

January 23, 2018

In front of me, the president of the large university my daughter will attend in the fall is speaking. But in my 8:18 moment of observation, I notice something else.

An exit sign.

The unyielding tree

January 21, 2018

As I sit at my art table in my studio, I can see a tree across the street. By my calculations, I have viewed it roughly 14,000 times in the two decades we’ve lived here. And only today am I noticing its strangeness.


January 19, 2018

The highway in front of me tonight is a dark seam through gray snow. Stars burn coldly in the black above. And I am feeling small.

Sweet stones

January 16, 2018

It is afternoon and in a German hotel, where I am working in a corporate session, they have given rocks to snack on. Sorry, I exaggerate: pebbles. In a bowl.

Love among the ruins

January 15, 2018

My phone, apparently suffering from jet lag, reminds me to notice as I’m sitting on a train at 2:18, on my way to a castle. But it’s no ordinary ruin. I expect to unearth memories.

I am high over Western Europe when today’s moment of observation arrives. The sun floats radiant over a Berber carpet of clouds. How can anything be so beautiful?

The task at hand

January 11, 2018

My plan had been to interrupt my breakfast with Mike at 8:18 and have us both play What Do I See? But we are deep in conversation when the time arrives. I hold the thought.

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